General Practitioner

Who we are

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We are a governmental, not-for-profit research service, jointly funded by the NHS National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), a part of the Department of Health.

We have been providing anonymised primary care records for public health research since 1987. Research using CPRD data has resulted in over 1,500 publications which have led to improvements in drug safety, best practice and clinical guidelines. Examples include confirming safety of MMR vaccine, informing NICE cancer guidance, safeguarding use of pertussis vaccine in pregnancy, influencing the management of hypertension in diabetics.

CPRD is now using primary care data in clinical trials. Examples include a real world diabetes studies comparing a new therapy to standard of care, and randomised controlled trials on myocardial infarction and COPD patients.

Join our expanding network of over 600 GP practices across the UK contributing primary care data to the Clinical Practice Research Datalink.

Who uses the data and how is it governed

Data are safeguarded by high levels of security, complying with comprehensive governance requirements. Data held by CPRD can only be used for public health research by bona fide researchers. All research applications to use CPRD data must have regulatory and ethics approval or have been reviewed by an independent scientific committee.

Benefits of Contributing Data to CPRD
  1. Public Health & Healthcare Benefit
    Primary care data from GP practices enable research that provides vital evidence to inform improvements in patient care and health outcomes.
  2. Business Benefit
    There is an opportunity to earn income from data validation studies, referring patients for clinical trials and acting as site investigators.
  3. Patient Benefit
    Reassuring your patients that your practice is at the forefront of improving evidence-based healthcare, including opportunities for the patients to take part in a range of clinical trials.
  4. Improving data quality
    We can provide practice-level information for quality improvement on recording of patient data and clinical care.
CASE STUDY: MMR vaccine safety confirmed

Infectious diseases measles, mumps and rubella were almost universal during childhood before the introduction of vaccines, often causing severe complications. Today, the MMR vaccine is an important public health intervention that has made these conditions fully preventable. However, in 1998 a study relying on false data had incorrectly incriminated the vaccine as a risk factor for development of autism in children. An influential CPRD study categorically showed that there was no association between vaccination and autism or other developmental disorders and helped re-establish public confidence in the MMR vaccine

Smeeth L et al. MMR vaccination and pervasive developmental disorders: a case-control study. Lancet 2004;364:963-69.